Ingrid Ciprián-Matthews, a three-decade veteran of CBS News who ascended to the role of president in 2023, abruptly announced Wednesday that she will step down from her role as the news organization’s parent company prepares for a complex merger.

“No journalist wants to ‘be’ the news, especially me. But today, I have some news of my own to share,” Ciprián-Matthews announced in a memo to employees. “After much consideration, I’ve decided this is the right time to step away from my current role at CBS News and begin to write my next chapter.”

The sudden move comes just months before the high stakes 2024 presidential election, leaving the Tiffany Network’s news organization without a top boss to guide it through the pivotal moment.

Wendy McMahon, chief executive of CBS News and Stations, said in a separate memo to staffers that Ciprián-Matthews will move into a newly created role as senior editorial adviser helping to guide the outlet’s politics coverage during the election.

The announcement also comes days after Paramount Global, the parent company of CBS News, accepted an offer from Hollywood production studio Skydance Media that will see the two companies merge. Following the merger, Skydance Media plans to install its own leadership team.

Ciprián-Matthews alluded to the corporate uncertainty in her memo to staff.

“Some may be asking why I’m announcing this now. We all know our industry and company are going through a transformation and a number of short- and long-term decisions need to be made,” she wrote. “I do not want to be disingenuous with any of you about who should drive these decisions. I’ve always leaned into my integrity and my values and I felt it was important to be transparent at this juncture about my plans.”

“Ingrid will transition into this new role over the next few weeks, and we will share more updates soon,” McMahon said.

When she took over as CBS News president, Ciprián-Matthews became the first Latina to hold the influential post at the network’s news division. Her short run came after Neeraj Khemlani stepped down after a brief two-year stint, during which he become the subject of a human resources probe.

The decision by Ciprián-Matthews to vacate her role means that two of the nation’s biggest television broadcast news organizations will be without a chief heading into the November elections amid a particularly turbulent period in the media industry. Earlier this year, Disney ousted Kim Godwin as ABC News chief and has yet to announce a replacement.

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